When your home is cluttered and chaotic and you feel like you’re losing control, organizing just one small space can be therapeutic and rewarding. The question is which project should you tackle first?
How about the bathroom and linen closet? Organizing these areas in your home can be easy and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time.
Remedies for messy medicine cabinets
Medicine cabinets have a tendency to become filled with items that are seldom used and well past the expiration date. A basic four-step plan offers a cure.
- Remove everything from the medicine cabinet.
- Put things you use every day in one group, all other items go in a second group.
- Clean the shelves and place the group of things you use every day back in the cabinet.
- Throw away as many old items as you can. If you are keeping a few things from the second group, put them in a plastic bag, and store them in a closet, drawer or cabinet.
Redbook.com writer Ashley Niedringhaus compares the medicine cabinet to a vertical equivalent of the junk drawer. In her article, “Clean Up Your Medicine Cabinet,” she also offers some excellent tips for organizing your medicine cabinet, including these:
Divvy Up Shelves. See that top tier? Give it to your spouse. The shelf below can be for yours, and the bottom one can be a neutral home for shared basics such as toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss.
Maximize Space. Double your storage space with a riser, tack stick-on magnets to the back wall to hold clippers and tweezers, and use a ring holder to store hair ties and bobby pins.
Taming clutter in bathroom cabinets and drawers
Stashing items in the cabinet under the sink or in drawers may seem like a great alternative to a countertop littered with all kinds of personal care items. But, in your heart of hearts, you know that all you’re doing is shifting clutter from one place to another, right?
At HGTV.com, writer Caren Baginski addresses clutter in “Quick Tips for Organizing Bathrooms.” Here are two of the seven helpful ideas she shares:
Control Hair Product Clutter. Gels, sprays, curlers, combs and hair dryers take up a lot of space in the bathroom. For quick organization, buy a plastic tub for under the sink and load it up with your supplies. As you place them in the tub, evaluate whether you use the product often. If not, donate it to a friend or to charity. When you fix your hair, the whole tub can be taken out and put away without creating a mess.
Divide and Conquer Your Makeup. Drawers in the bathroom tend to be catchalls for lots of different containers, most of which badly organize their contents. An expandable cosmetic drawer organizer fits in a shallow drawer and takes the place of bulky cosmetic bags. Different size compartments will organize lipstick, blush and eye shadow so you never have to root around to find what you’re looking for. As you organize your makeup, be sure to throw away anything that smells or is expired. Old makeup contains bacteria that can irritate your skin.
Lasso the linen closet
Now, what about those towels? In smaller homes and apartments, storing towels in the bathroom may be the only option. Hooks and racks are for towels in use; fresh towels should be stored in cabinets and shelving units.
Before you think envious thoughts about your friends who have a separate linen closet, consider this: Without some organization, a linen closet can turn into an avalanche of jumbled items ready to ambush you when you open the door.
One of the most thorough descriptions for lassoing the linen closet comes from the website RealSimple.com. The site’s Linen Closet Organizing Checklist offers twelve steps to straighten out your linen closet.
Writer Michele Meyer also discusses organizing your linen closet at RealSimlpe.com. Her succinct, helpful advice is to “sort and organize.” Meyer says,
Sort all your towels and sheets to determine which are worth keeping and which should go to charity, your cleaning-supply closet (as rags), or your kid’s toy chest (for making tents and Halloween costumes).
Try to limit yourself to three sets of sheets per bed and as few as three sets of bath sheets or towels, hand towels, and washcloths per person (more if you change towels daily, fewer if the men in your household have never picked up a washcloth). This gives you one set in use, one in the hamper, and one in the closet ready for action…
Easier than you thought
Relax and congratulate yourself. You’ve taken control, and in just a few minutes, you’ve reduced clutter and chaos in your home’s bath and linen closet. Today the bath, tomorrow…the garage?